Set 100 years after the events of the first game, Aragami 2 puts players back in the shoes of an assassin who controls the shadows to protect the Roshoman Valley from the Akatsuchi faction. Developed by the Barcelona based studio Lince Works, Aragami 2 seeks to continue the story of its predecessor while being a stand-alone experience. In its current form, Aragami 2 manages to do just that while also showing its potential to grow even further during its ongoing development.
Aragami 2 is a continuation of the first story but doesn’t rely on it, choosing instead to tell a story with a new character. In the first game, players controlled a shadow spirit that was summoned by a character named Yamiko. In contrast, the sequel follows an assassin plagued by a supernatural affliction which gives him the ability to control shadows, whilst slowly corroding his body and mind over time. Thankfully, this assassin joins a village of other assassins and afflicted people who realized that they can slow the process by living as a community. This way of life is being threatened by the Akatsuchi and the village is forced to act in order to survive.
Aragami 2 manages to feel connected in look and feel to its predecessor, despite changing almost every aspect its gameplay experience. The most striking is the implementation of combat mechanics, with the sequel now utilizing striking and parrying systems to engage with enemies. Those familiar with the first title may be surprised as it was purely a stealth game in which the player was immediately killed if they were caught. With this no longer being the case, it may be more accurate to compare Aragami 2 to Dishonored in its mechanics.
Some stealth abilities make a welcome return, such as the Shadow Leap and Shadow Kill, but they don’t behave in the same way. This isn’t a big deal for the majority of abilities, but the downgrades to the Shadow Leap are disappointing. The sequel’s leap allows the player to teleport to ledges in the same way Blink does in Dishonored. That said, it doesn’t allow players to teleport to other shadows or spots on the ground, which was a feature of the first game’s version of this ability. Another stealth issue to note is that in this preview build, aerial assassinations feel very inconsistent and often failed to happen at all, but this may be the result of expected bugs in the preview build that will likely be fixed during development.
For the story and progression, Aragami 2 embraces a mission system in which players will approach the mission board in the village and choose which they would like to do. Over-time, these mission locations will expand and offer new locations and enemies to encounter, which keeps each area feeling fresh despite making multiple returns. Another way to keep missions and locations interesting is the inclusion of multiplayer and co-op. While not available for this preview build, Lince Works is putting a lot of work into building a robust system that would support a team of shadow ninjas to deepen the gameplay experience.
Overall, Aragami 2 is looking to be a fantastic stealth-action title that will satisfy fans of the original game and introduce new players to the burgeoning franchise. The gameplay already feels solid and responsive, the art and character design is beautiful, and the story is engaging and full of mystery. For fans of stealth-action and ninjas in general, keep an eye on this game during its final weeks of development and consider giving it a shot.
Aragami 2 releases September 17, 2021 on PC, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One and Series X/S. Screen Rant was provided with a PC Preview Build for the purpose of this preview.